Sony and Regal Cinemas Announce 4K Digital Projection Pact
by Christopher Campbell
May 18, 2009
Are you aware that your local multiplex likely doesn't feature the very best in digital projection? That's right, most cinemas in this country are using 2K resolution projectors, which don't quite measure up to the look of film. But fortunately, Regal Entertainment Group is about to advance to the next level in digital cinema by equipping about 550 of its movie theaters with Sony's high end 4K resolution projectors, which obviously look twice as good as the 2K variety. According to the Hollywood Reporter, these projectors will be installed into a minimum of around 5,000 screens over the next three to five years in Regal theaters.
Regal isn't the first theater chain to make a deal with Sony Electronics for such a massive 4K projector rollout. Two months ago, AMC announced a similar pact with the projector manufacturer. Between the two cinema companies, Sony 4K projectors will soon be used in around 11,000 screens nationwide. The reason for the sudden 4K upgrade is that these systems have recently gone down significantly in price so that they're not that much more expensive than 2K. So, as part of the digital transitions being financed by Digital Cinema Implementation Partners, Regal and AMC are choosing the optimal experience for its customers.
I know, coupled with the recent IMAX controversy, it's becoming more of a headache to figure out if your local cinema offers the better of two exhibition options or not. And it's unclear whether Regal and AMC (both of which are part of Aziz Ansari's IMAX-based boycott) will advertise or make a distinction to customers regarding the projection systems they use (probably not). For the money, even if only slightly more, it would behoove them to inform everyone. And it would benefit you, as well, to see your films in 4K, if you can. Hopefully the third DCIP chain, Cinemark, will also be on board with digital 4K soon as well.